Dogs, cats and their owners » Cat breeds » Chartreuse (Cartesian cat)


Other names: cartesian cat

Chartreuse is a delicate intellectual from France, known for his docile disposition and ability to find a common language with others. It is difficult to refuse such a companionable friend!

Brief information

  • Breed name: Chartreuse
  • Country of Origin: France
  • Weight: 3 – 7.5 kg
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years old


  • Chartreuse makes delightful and sensitive companions that will get along with most people.
  • "Cartesians" skillfully combine attachment to family and the ability to easily tolerate loneliness.
  • Representatives of the breed are quite phlegmatic, do not make a mess and do not seek to win territory from you.
  • A distinctive feature of chartreuse is a delicate meowing. In addition, the animals are quite silent and will not bother you with loud noises.
  • Cartesian beauties find a common language with cats and dogs, but they can "fight" with them for your love.
  • The developed hunter's instinct is the main reason why you should not leave the animal alone with birds, rodents and other small pets.
  • Although chartreuse are very smart, they are not amenable to training, but they quickly get used to their own nickname.
  • "Cartesians" do not need careful care; standard procedures and regular visits to the veterinarian are enough.
  • Representatives of the breed rarely get sick due to strong immunity.

Chartreuse is amazing in many ways. His refined appearance and gentle nature impress even dog owners. This fluffy monsieur will not bother the owner with loud meowing and will never impose his company. In the piggy bank of other positive qualities of chartreuse – calmness and reasonableness. An animal will never start a fight unless it's about hunting or fighting a rival for your invaluable attention!

Breed characteristics

Activity ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Affectionate ?
Affectionate ( Rating 4/5)
Molt ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Need for care ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Health ?
Good ( Rating 4/5)
Sociability ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Playfulness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Friendliness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
*Characteristics of the Chartreuse breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of cat owners.

History of the Chartreuse breed

The origin of chartreuse is shrouded in mystery. Most felinologists associate it with the religious France of the XVI century. Most likely, the animals found themselves in the country thanks to merchant ships that brought goods from the territory of the African continent. Another version connects the Chartreuse with Spain – the main exporter of woolen fabric, which has a consonant name. The least common theory connects the origin of cats with Asia Minor, from where the animals could have come together with the Crusaders.

In the XVI century, the Carthusian Order dominated the territory of France. His first and main monastery is located in the south-east of the country. In their free time from prayers, the monks cooked, washed clothes, copied old folios and even engaged in charity work. Perhaps the main source of income of the Cartesians was the production of chartreuse – liqueur on wild herbs. As the rodents destroyed the ingredients of the drink and grain stocks, the monks needed four-legged hunters.

The choice fell on short-haired blue cats. They were distinguished by impeccable instincts and dexterity. In addition, the animals practically did not meow and did not distract the monks from the service. The Carthusians also bred cats for inhumane reasons: for the sake of meat. The skins were often resold to merchants, who tinted them and passed them off as valuable furs. The consumer attitude towards animals did not stop until the second half of the XVII century. The Carthusian Order gradually lost its influence due to the Reformation and the religious wars that followed it. In the XIX century, the monks returned to the socio-political arena, but they failed to achieve their former greatness.

After the collapse of the Cartesian Order, the Chartreuse gradually migrated to French families. During the First World War, the number of animals decreased dramatically. The breed was on the verge of extinction, and connoisseurs of short-haired beauties decided to act. Based on historical and literary sources, the first breed standard was formulated. Only those animals that fully met the stated criteria were allowed to breed.

The persistence of breeders paid off: in 1931, purebred chartreuse first appeared at a cat show in France. Then one of the short-haired beauties was awarded the title "The best cat of the competition". After 8 years, an officially fixed breed standard appeared.

The stunning success was followed by another crisis. The Second World War contributed to the mass disappearance of cats throughout Europe. Chartreuse was also on the list of four-legged victims. Animals died during the fighting or were actively destroyed by local residents for food. By the middle of the XX century, the number of "Cartesians" was extremely small. In an attempt to revive the breed, breeders crossed the remaining Chartreuse with British shorthair , russian blue and persian cats . Thus, the signs of individual breeds gradually disappeared, and the differences between them weakened. This was the cause of the conflict in 1970, when the FIFe international organization united the "Cartesians" and the "Britons" in one breed, the standard of which completely coincided with the standard british shorthair cats . Only in 1977, thanks to the efforts of breeders, the breeds were again delimited. Since then, the crossing of chartreuse with English counterparts is considered undesirable.

The American line of "Cartesians" deserves special mention. In 1971, the married couple Gamon returned home accompanied by new pets. The offspring of those Chartreuse settled in the De Guerveur nursery, owned by the Legere sisters. Since the "Cartesians" were not crossed with other breeds in the USA, this line is considered authentic and genetically pure.

Chartreuse is now recognized by most feline associations. The exception is the British Cats Organization (GCCF). Its representatives still believe that the "Cartesians" were undeservedly awarded the title of an independent breed.

Video: Chartreuse

Chartreuse appearance

Cartesian cats are not as sophisticated as they seem at first glance. A strong musculature and a powerful backbone are hidden under a spectacular "fur coat" – the characteristic features of a skilled hunter. Sexual dimorphism is clearly expressed: males significantly outnumber females in size. Their body weight is 5.5-7 kg and 2.5-4 kg, respectively.

Chartreuse refers to medium-sized breeds. There are also larger specimens. Despite the external heaviness, cats are not devoid of grace and grace.

Head and skull

The head is wide, with rounded outlines. Its trapezoidal shape is formed by the powerful jaws of the animal. The upper part – the space between the ears – is narrowed and flattened. The skull is non-convex, elongated and sharp areas are absent.


In comparison with the head, the muzzle looks narrower. In shape, it is an un–pointed wedge. The stop is weakly pronounced, ideally absent. The flat forehead turns into a wide and straight nose. Its tip should not be upturned. The lobe is pigmented in gray-blue color. Round and plump cheeks are located rather low, more pronounced in males, starting from the age of two months. Due to the distinct transition from the muzzle to the cheekbones, it seems that chartreuse is always "smiling". The chin is wide.


The ears of the chartreuse are small or medium-sized, slightly convex at the base. Set high and at right angles, so the animal looks wary. The tips of the ears are smoothly rounded.


The eyes of the Cartesian cat are quite large, round in shape. The outer corners are slightly directed upwards, but this does not make the look oblique. The color of the iris varies from golden to copper shades. They should be deep and rich.

Jaws and teeth

The jaws of the animal are powerful and wide; they provide an easy but strong grip. The dental formula is complete, with the presence of incisors, canines, premolars and molars.


Short and massive, weighted with muscles.


Representatives of the breed have a strong body, which is not devoid of flexibility and agility. Males look more powerful compared to females. A strong backbone is emphasized by musculature. The shoulders are broad, the chest is deep and well developed. The lines of the back and rump are straight.


The cat's tail is of medium length, has a wide and massive base, but gradually tapers to the tip. The tip itself is oval in shape.


Chartreuse limbs can be short or medium in length. Strong musculature contrasts with thin bones. The paws are small and rounded, the fingers are gathered into a ball and end with powerful claws. The pads are characterized by gray pigmentation, according to the TICA standard – dark pink.

Wool cover

Short and thick wool has a dense texture and a healthy shine. The hairs are slightly raised due to the undercoat and do not fit tightly to the animal's body. The "fur coat" of the Cartesian cat is characterized by water-repellent properties.


All shades of gray-blue are acceptable: from ash to slate. A solid blue is preferred, but a light silvery ebb is also possible. There are marks on the kittens' fur, but they disappear by the age of six months.

Possible vices

The main defects of the Chartreuse breed are recognized:

  • almond-shaped and/or close-set eyes;
  • white hairs in the coat;
  • sharp transition from forehead to muzzle;
  • faded shades of the iris;
  • wide and massive muzzle;
  • markings on the coat;
  • snub nose;
  • tipping.

The animal is disqualified on the following grounds:

  • red, brown or rusty color;
  • white medallion on the chest;
  • amputated claws;
  • green iris of the eyes;
  • cryptorchidism;
  • deafness.

Chartreuse character

If you are desperate to find an understanding and patient friend, take a closer look at the Cartesian cats! These animals are ideal companions for small and large families, workaholics and stay–at-home people, young and old people. They do not require constant attention, but they accept affection with special joy. Like ghosts, chartreuse follow the owners on their heels and leave at the first request. The pet will not get angry at the desire to spend the evening alone and will wait for your call.

Representatives of the breed have warm relations with all family members. No one will be deprived of the love of a furry friend! Chartreuse is attached to someone more, to someone less: it depends on the nature of the animal. Despite the close connection with people, the Cartesian cat calmly tolerates loneliness. In your absence, she will curl up into a ball and will not meow hysterically under the door.

By the way, the Chartreuse voice is very delicate. It's unusual to hear such quiet sounds from a large pet. Most of the time the animal is silent, expressing feelings with the help of affectionate purring or head butting.

There is a minus in the taciturnity of the "Cartesians": if the cat gets into trouble, it will not be able to call you for help. However, this happens extremely rarely. Furry natives of France are quite circumspect and prefer not to get into trouble. They assess their strength sensibly and do not enter into a fight with larger rivals. If this is unavoidable, the animals attack suddenly, without a battle cry, and fight almost to the last. This trait was inherited by Cartesian cats from their ancestors.

In everyday situations, chartreuse are calm and phlegmatic, as if they managed to comprehend Zen at the dawn of their existence. It is extremely difficult to bring them out of their mental balance. Representatives of the breed get along well with their fellows; they can find a common language with dogs, provided that they are friendly. Jack Russell Terriers , pit bulls and greyhounds often show hostility towards cats. Chartreuse will most likely not make friends with these breeds.

The "Cartesian" will not get along with small pets: decorative rodents, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Do not forget that in the past, French cats were valued for their impeccable hunting instincts. They also manifest themselves in games with the owner. If you loom a toy in front of the "smiling" face of a pet, you will notice how closely he is watching and waiting. Chartreuse only needs one deft throw to catch prey, so you should not risk leaving the cat alone with miniature pets.

Representatives of the breed tend to show jealousy and defend territory. If the Cartesian cat is not the only pet in the house, make sure that no one is left without your affection. Then we can safely hope for a fluffy truce.

Education and training

Chartreuse – owners of an inquisitive mind and rare insight. It will not be difficult for them to use the switch, open the water tap and even press the door handle to leave the room. The intelligence of cats facilitates the process of education. With your help, the "Cartesians" will learn good manners, easily get used to using a scratching post and a tray, will not give up walking on a harness. Educate your pet from the first day of appearance in the house, because it will take more time and effort to train an adult chartreuse, and the result will be far from perfect.

As for training, you will have to forget about traditional teams. Representatives of the breed consider it beneath their dignity to jump at someone's direction, overcome an obstacle course and somersault. However, Cartesian cats easily get used to the nickname and even bring abandoned objects or toys to the owner. The main thing is not to raise your voice at the pet, otherwise his fluffy majesty will not forgive you for such audacity.

Care and maintenance

Chartreuse is an ideal pet and for the reason that it does not need specific care. Recommendations for the correct content of "Cartesians" are simple and do not require much effort.

Although chartreuse belongs to short-haired breeds of cats, its fur coat needs weekly combing. The reason for this is a long and thick undercoat, which can get tangled and cause a lot of inconvenience to the animal. During the period of seasonal molting, it is worth combing the coat of the Cartesian cat at least every other day, in the direction of hair growth – so it will take a well-groomed and healthy appearance. A special glove or brush with sparse teeth is used for the procedure. A high-quality pukhoderka will also come in handy.

If you buy a chartreuse in a nursery, ask the breeder about the features of caring for thick fur. This is especially true for those who have never had a pet before. Usually the undercoat is combed with a fluff, the outer hair is brushed with a massage brush. At the end of the procedure, walk with a wet hand over the pet's "fur coat". This will help get rid of the remaining hairs.

Representatives of the breed do not need regular water procedures, as they perfectly cope with personal hygiene. It is enough to bathe Cartesian cats once every six months, more often – only in extreme cases, for example, before participating in an exhibition. Choose a shampoo without aggressive chemicals, ideally for short–haired breeds. After bathing, it is necessary to thoroughly dry the thick undercoat with a hairdryer. At the same time, it is important to prevent drafts: even the owners of strong immunity can catch a cold.

A special tool is purchased to shorten the claws. The claws are trimmed once a month by literally 3-4 mm, so that the animal does not leave hooks on carpets and upholstery fabrics. If a "Cartesian" regularly walks on the street and uses a scratching post, a claw haircut will be required extremely rarely.

Chartreuse's eyes and ears are washed as needed with a special lotion. It can be purchased at a pet store. To remove specks and excessive secretions, you need to use a cotton pad or a lint-free cloth. Representatives of the breed perfectly keep themselves clean, but this does not mean that you can let the hygiene of the pet take its course.

Oral care of the "Cartesian" is a brushing of teeth once every 1-1.5 weeks. To do this, use a paste for animals and a nozzle on the finger. An old toothbrush will also do. Carry out the procedure carefully: chartreuse often forms plaque and stone.

Young individuals have a problem with changing baby teeth to permanent ones. They sit firmly in the gum and practically do not loosen. To remove "children's" teeth, contact a veterinary clinic.

Cartesian cats are unpretentious in food, but still you should not feed your pet dishes from the dining table. Premium and super-premium feed classes are suitable. They contain perfectly balanced proteins and carbohydrates, supplemented with antioxidants, natural preservatives and vitamin and mineral supplements.

It is not recommended to include in the diet of chartreuse:

  • some raw vegetables (tomatoes, garlic, onions, broccoli);
  • pickled, fried and salted foods;
  • offal in raw and boiled form;
  • fish in large quantities;
  • boiled potatoes;
  • sweets and desserts;
  • legumes;
  • fat pork;
  • tubular bones;
  • mushrooms;
  • nuts.

Provide your pet with round-the-clock access to water. Ideally, it should be bottled, but tap water is also suitable if it is pre-infused for 6-8 hours.

Chartreuse health and Diseases

Cartesian cats are distinguished by excellent immunity and resistance to most viral diseases. Among congenital diseases, dislocation of the kneecaps is most common. In the future, it is fraught with lameness and weakness of the hind limbs. Usually animals with this defect do not participate in breeding.

Chartreuse is also susceptible to hip dysplasia. Such cats are sedentary, often limp and suffer from uncomfortable sensations. Timely treatment to the veterinarian will help to stop the disease or stop it altogether.

Sometimes animals suffer from gingivitis, which is fraught with tooth loss. To avoid this, it is necessary to carefully monitor the hygiene of the oral cavity of the animal. Once a year, it is recommended to remove tartar in the veterinarian's office.

Despite excellent health, "Cartesians" need timely vaccination. It will increase life expectancy and protect the pet from dangerous diseases.

How to choose a kitten

Buying chartreuse in the CIS countries is a difficult task. The export of breeding animals outside the borders of the USA and France is prohibited, so count only on the purchase of a sterilized or neutered pet. Most often such cats are brought from America. At the same time, it is advisable to book an animal in advance: the demand for smiling cats is quite high.

Taking advantage of the fact that not much is known about the breed, unscrupulous breeders sell culled "Brits" under the guise of purebred chartreuse. Don't want to become a victim of deception? Focus on the following differences:

  • chartreuse has a more elongated head and not such large cheeks;
  • "fur coat" british cat does not have a clear distinction between the outer hair and the undercoat, their length is the same;
  • the color of the "Cartesians" varies only within the gray and blue shades;
  • in british cats smaller ears;
  • the tail of the chartreuse tapers from the base to the tip.

When choosing a pet, pay attention to its behavior. A healthy baby is active, curious, moderately playful and is not afraid of harsh sounds. It is best to buy a Cartesian kitten at the age of three months and older. The animal no longer needs maternal care and gets used to new family members quite easily.

Chartreuse price

Representatives of the breed will cost future owners dearly. The minimum price tag starts from $200 and reaches $800. But do not worry: for this money you get a real treasure! The character of the chartreuse is as pleasant as the taste of the liqueur of the same name.

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